A cognitive function training using flower arrangement conducted by NARO, in collaboration with the Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences, has shown that the memory ability of patients who suffer from cognitive dysfunctions due to accidents, stroke etc. improved, and the effect was observed for 3 months after the training. It is expected to be utilized for cognitive rehabilitation of patients with neurocognitive disorder.
According to a 2016 survey of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare of Japan, it is estimated that 327,000 people suffer from higher brain dysfunction nationwide. Cognitive rehabilitation will play an important role for patients with high brain dysfunction to lead a self-sustaining and social life.
In 2010, NARO and Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences developed the structured floral arrangement (SFA) program to improve cognitive functions by means of flower arrangement. In the SFA program, the user will insert the flower material in a ○ or △ attached to a water absorbing sponge, and create a flower arrangement similar to solving a puzzle.
As a result of clinical research for participants with neurocognitive disorder, among 16 participants of the SFA program, the memory test score improved significantly with an average of 12.7 to 23.3, and the score increased by more than 40% as compared to the non-participating group. In addition, nine of the 16 follow-up participants maintained the improvement in test results even after 3 months. Hence the SFA program is expected to be effective as a cognitive rehabilitation method for patients with neurocognitive disorder.
The marked sponge material used for the SFA program can be purchased for 200 yen from flower shops throughout Japan and via the Internet.